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State formation in Somaliland: bringing deliberation to institutionalism

Walls, M.J.; (2011) State formation in Somaliland: bringing deliberation to institutionalism. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

There is and has long been great debate over the means and motivations necessary for societal organisation, and most particularly in relation to the establishment and maintenance of governance systems in the context of the nation state. One of the key fault-lines in this discourse lies in the role played by the individual against that of the collective. At the centre of the argument lies a disagreement on conceptions of justice and how these relate to acceptance by the society involved as to the legitimacy or acceptability of the state being established. This thesis aims to examine these arguments with respect to a case study which is at once both highly particular and unusually apposite for that analysis. The case is Somaliland, which is undergoing a transition from a kinship-based system that emphasises discursive democracy to the establishment of an increasingly viable system of representative democracy. That this process has occurred in the shadow of Somaliland’s southern neighbour, the erstwhile Republic of Somalia, a country of which the international diplomatic community still insists Somaliland is a part, yet one which is unable to establish a viable system of government itself, adds relevance to the analysis. One of the key periods in Somaliland’s transition began in 1990, just prior to the fall of the Siyaad Barre regime at the beginning of 1991, and 1997 when an interim constitution was adopted, ending a final period of conflict within Somaliland. While there remain small if vociferous sections of the population wedded to reunification with Somalia, the successful staging of a series of elections and the fact that renewed widespread conflict has failed to materialise attest to the evident fact that the accommodations reached between 1990 and 1997 enjoy the support of the vast majority of the population. In order to understand the 1990-97 period, though, it is also necessary to examine the complex links between Somalis and the political and social changes that have occurred over the years. This thesis therefore examines the changes wrought by shifting patterns of trade and pastoralism, and in particular those of the colonial era, and in that light examines the 1990-97 transition using a framework synthesised from the theories of the deliberative democracy of John Rawls and the Institutional Analysis of Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. It aims both to interrogate the synthesised conceptual framework and to refine it, in the process examining the case study and attempting to gain an understanding of some of the key elements that have permitted the emergence of a viable system of state.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:State formation in Somaliland: bringing deliberation to institutionalism
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Copyright material removed from the e-thesis.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit

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